The “Traca Traca” in Granada!!!

Kids in Granada playing "Traca Traca"!!!

After spending 4 nights in Isla de Ometepe I knew I wanted to stay longer. I had an insightful conversation with a drag queen about GLBT issues in Nicaragua. I also had an amazing scandalous night on the beach under the stars. A part of me did not want to leave Isla de Ometepe, but I knew I had too. I made my way to Granada and upon arriving in Granada all I would hear everywhere is this noise that went like this “Traca traca traca traca”. I wondered what the hell it was.

After walking through the streets for a while trying to get to our hostel I found the source. Every kid I would see was playing with these things I had never seen. It was two balls tied on a string that were used to hit each other on opposite sides of where they were swinging it. I could see how this could annoy people, but I was amazed by it. I asked the kid playing with it what it was called and he said “Traca Traca because it makes that noise”. I then asked where I could get one and he said the market. I thanked him and on my way thought “first thing tomorrow I must go to the market and buy one”.

Even grown kids no how to do it like nothing. Look at him holding things and doing it.

The next morning I made my way to the market and bought one. So I had the “Traca Traca” in my hand and was ready to play. I went for it and holy shit I couldn’t even make them hit once. I try again and still nothing. People all around me are looking at me and laughing. I know what they are thinking, “look at this foreigner trying to play the Traca Traca”.

I walked around a bit with it in my hand and then a lady flags me down to come to her shop. She tells me she will help me. She borrows it and goes for it. Then she explains it to me and breaks it down a bit. I ask her why do the kids play with this. She said the kids play with it because it cost less than $0.35 to buy and it keeps them entertained. They also compete with each other to see who can do it the longest and also do different styles. She explained people could do the regular beat or also do the horse; they could also do it over the head and turn it into a helicopter. After about 30 minutes there I go on about my way. Still no progress, but now I know what I need to do.

This kid was awesome at playing with the Traca Traca he was also so damn sweet.

The next few days I’d take the “Traca Traca” with me everywhere I’d go. I was determined to learn how to do it. As I’d walk around Granada I knew every one was watching me trying to do it. It’s funny because a lot of people started recognizing me in the streets and markets because every time they would see me they would see with the “Traca Traca”. Some would ask me if I was getting the hang of it and I’d tell them I am improving everyday. The “Traca Traca” became a great tool to start talking with the local adults and children. We would start chatting about the Traca Traca and go off and talk about other things.

I loved the fact that a lot of people would try and help me. I also loved that the children did not mind me taking pictures of them while playing it. I was also able to record a kid doing it while attending a baseball game with Matt from The Expert Vagabond, Lucero from Superxicana Travel Adventures and Ryan & Dina from Vagabond Quest.

Now that you have seen the video you must agree it is pretty fucking cool I know I am easily amused and entertained, but yeah I think that is awesome. After spending 7 days in Granada I did get the hang of it, but not as good as the kids around town could do it. I now have them hanging from my backpack and play with them every once in a while.  Aside from spending the night on active Volcano Masaya (will write about this soon) this was a major highlight of my stay in Granada.

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  1. Now this is the kind of stuff that traveling is all about. That is so fun and talk about bonding with the locals. so, how good did you get with it?
    Scott recently posted..My Style of Backpacking

    • I have to agree with you this really is what travel is all about. I loved Granada even more because of the Traca Traca and that it was able to make me talk with so many people. I got a bit better but not amazing like the kid.

  2. That kid is good. I’d be happy to learn how to make it traca traca traca. I bet it’ll be a good conversation starter no matter where you end up.
    Mike Lenzen recently posted..Our Itinerary Released

    • Yeah Mike the kid is amazing and well I have put them away for now because most people look at me like what the fuck am I doing. I know it annoys alot of people and I dont wanna be the one that annoys the locals.

  3. I had one of those things! I’ll take you on Jaime!
    Erica recently posted..Wake Up Call in Sayulita- Mexico

  4. I had one of them too when I was little!!! Like you, I just couldn’t get the hang of it!
    Lauren recently posted..Why choose to travel solo

  5. I’m still waiting for video evidence that you mastered it! 🙂
    Matt | ExpertVagabond recently posted..Climbing Volcano Masaya in the Dark

    • I should have one when I get back to Houston. I will have plenty of time to practice and video myself…lol!!! BUT yes I will post one.

  6. QueenBrain12 says:

    Easily amused, but I hope you know how to traca traca by the time you get back to Houston!

    love ya


  7. From scandalous nights on the beach to this. You definitely keep us all entertained! LOL

  8. I had one of those growing up in Japan, too! I never was as good as that kid though!
    David recently posted..Helsinki- The Daughter of the Baltic – Best Western Premiere Hotel Katajanokka

  9. i remember playing with the same kind of toy (only way smaller) here in manila… cool that they also have that in other countries…

  10. Great post!! I used to play with the tracas in Mexico as a child too and seeing the kids in Nicaragua brought great childhood memories =)
    Superxicana recently posted..EXISTING IN THE BORDERLANDS

  11. Man, I haven’t mastered it yet when I moved to Costa Rica. Too late, nobody play that here. People will be too annoyed with the noise if I practice it… Do I miss my chance?
    Dina recently posted..10 Most Memorable Travel Moments from 2 Years of Living on the Road

  12. I love that you got to interact with the kids so much — what an ice breaker it turned out to be, not just with kids, but with everyone 🙂

    Glad you got to spend so much time with Dina and Ryan too!
    Heather recently posted..Time to Go Home

  13. Willow Martin says:

    We had those in Mississippi when I was growing up. I loved them.

    • Jaime Davila says:

      I can’t wait to play with them again when I go home. They are so much fun!!! Were you any good at it? I’m horrible.

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